Four days after I got the word that Berlios is dying, I have saved GPSD from being pulled under as it sinks. A couple of observations on the project migration follow.
First, for all those with an interest, the GPSD website is now at http://catb.org/gpsd/ (in my personal space at ibiblio); the repo and mailing lists are on Savannah. The old page on Berlios announces the move.
The web stuff is on ibiblio because Savannah’s static-web support sucks big time. To update your web pages, they want you to check changes into a per-project CVS repository. Then, some time later, a cron job will check out copies and put them in your visible webspace.
I know why they’re doing it; they fear security breaches if users can reach the host filesystem with scp or friends. But “clumsy” massively understates the awkwardness of this method; the cron-job delay is injury, and having to tangle with the ancient brain-damage that is CVS adds insult to it. Fortunately they let you point your “Home Page” link offsite as an alternative to dealing with this crap.
But we must be fair. Yes, Savannah is a data jail and its internals are an architectural disaster area, but as I’ve noted before essentially all existing forges have those problems. Within those limitations Savannah’s UI is quite nice, as I know from years of experience with the close variant at Gna! that’s used by Battle For Wesnoth.
The worst part of this migration was scraping my mailing list state out of Berlios. Mailman has a decent UI and feature set, and it’s nice that you can mass-subscribe people by uploading a file of email adddresses, but – dammit – you can’t get the list back out as a file! I had to grab each successive HTML page in the user list display sequence and run them through a script to strip out the names.
Ironically, the tool I wrote two years ago to extract project state from Berlios and other forges was no use because the GPSD bugtracker is empty. Not that it would have been very useful anyway without an injector on the receiving end. That foregeplucker project stalled due to — wait for it — flakiness at the hosting site; I’m thinking I should go back there, hound the admins until they fix the problem, and pick up that project again.
The temptation to write a forge system myself is returning, too. They all suck so badly. It’s like no decent system architect has ever tackled the problem. I don’t just believe in a general way that I can do better, I know exactly how to go about it. Maybe one of these years…